Why do people put salt in their cooking water?
The question posed here represents one of those situations
where people do something without really knowing why?
The presence of a dissolved chemical usually causes the
boiling point of a solution to be higher than the boiling point of the
pure liquid. This is known as a colligative property, as this behavior
depends on the level of particles dissolved but not on the identity of
the particle. Salted water actually has a slightly higher boiling temperature
than tap water. But is this the advantage that cooks are seeking when they
add salt to their cooking water? Not likely. While a higher boiling temperature
would speed up cooking times, any temperature increase from adding salt
would be minimal. Then why the salt? It's just a matter of TASTE!
Return to web page